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Rehabil Psychol. 2010 Feb;55(1):40-7. doi: 10.1037/a0018624.

Positive psychological variables in the prediction of life satisfaction after spinal cord injury.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Phipps 174, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



To examine relationships between select positive psychological variables and life satisfaction in persons with spinal cord injury during acute rehabilitation and 3 months after discharge.


Prospective observational design; correlational and regression analyses. Eighty-seven adults who were participating in in-patient, acute rehabilitation for spinal cord injury in two metropolitan hospitals completed the following measures: Benefit finding Scale, Hope Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory, COPE, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and Satisfaction with Life Scale.


Hypothesized relationships of hope and positive affect (facilitator variables) with greater life satisfaction during the initial acute rehabilitation period were supported. Facilitators, as measured at baseline, accounted for a significant amount of variance in life satisfaction above and beyond barrier variables (depression, negative affect, and avoidant coping) both during the acute rehabilitation phase (R(2) change = .20, p < .0001) and at 3 months after discharge (R(2) change = .09, p < .029).


Findings suggest that positive psychological variables play a significant role in postrehabilitation subjective well-being for persons with spinal cord injury and may provide potential avenues for interventions to facilitate positive outcomes.

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